An incredible day at Navan as our two horses both ran good races in the same race. Stanhope surged to a fifth victory for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate and a sixth in his career. It was also the third win at Navan for Stanhope and our fourth at Navan as a syndicate. Stanhope became our 16th winner in what has become an excellent run for the Syndicate. Stanhope had a lot going against him having no form on the heavy ground that prevailed at Navan. We as Stanhope's owners have learned. Stanhope is his own boss and marches to his drum. Stanhope had a difficult draw to deal with, however, Stanhope could be picked out a long way from home tanking through the field. Stanhope hit the front way too soon on a jockey who did not know him from Adam in Mikey Sheehy. That said Stanhope saw it out really well for a brilliant if unexpected victory. Not because Stanhope has not been running well he just had never shown a liking for this kind of test. Mikey Sheehy's mount made sustained progress to hit the front over a furlong out. It is still a fair climb to the winning post from there, but he kept toughing it out. Teddy Boy cut into the lead in the closing stages but got as close as a neck at the line under Sheehy's brother, Danny Sheehy
Stanhope ran his best race ever here on this type of ground. Stanhope only ran in this race as we are running out of time for the season. John McConnell will not sanction Stanhope running at Dundalk so when the turf season finishes Stanhope will be done for 2022. When we first hired John McConnell we did so with Stanhope's long-term welfare in mind and with the idea of extending his career. Stanhope came through serious surgery before arriving at John McConnells, a qualified vet. John McConnell has done a fantastic job with the horse it is not an exaggeration to say with more luck with the draw Stanhope could have won 3 or 4 this season. That's the game we are thrilled with the two wins. This day is much treasured for a horse we hold dear. We will wave Stanhope off on his traditional winter holiday soon. We look forward to welcoming Stanhope back in 2023.
Trainer John McConnell said of the eight-year-old gelding: “He’s a real old stalwart. I was a little bit worried that we had the wrong side of the draw (from stall 8), but Mikey did a good job to get him as far over as he could.“He’s got down to a mark (51) that he can win off at his age. He’s won two for them this year and has run well a lot of times from bad draws.“He likes it here and he likes that trip. He probably doesn’t get 50 yards more than that. “We’ll have to have a chat about whether we take him into next year and this has probably justified giving him a go.”